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Summoning ministers: MPs stick to their guns

Summoning ministers: MPs stick to their guns

May 12, 2013 - 18:56

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Some Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members on Sunday insisted on summoning the finance minister, warning that the parliament would lose its credibility if the deadlock on the issue persisted.

Lawmakers decided to summon the ministers of finance and interior who had accused them of having hand in drug trafficking and other illegal activities.

Legislators on Saturday voted overwhelmingly for barring their colleagues from withdrawing their requests to summon a minister, ending tension within the lower house.

The vote came after some MPs withdrew the forms they had submitted for summoning Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal and Interior Minister Mujtaba Patang.

More than a dozen of the 61 MPs later dropped their requests and 11 of 57 MPs cancelled their forms to summon Patang, reducing the percentage (50 MPs) required for calling the cabinet members.

Under Article 92 of the Constitution, a minister could be summoned if 50 MPs fill out the relevant forms. If the minister summoned fails to satisfy the house with his/her explanations, a no-confidence motion can be considered.

In the Sunday’s special session, the lawmakers insisted on calling Zakhelwal and Patang. As a heated debate on the subject began, the session was declared in-camera.

Zakhelwal must give an explanation and reveal the names of corrupt lawmakers, said an MP, Ghulam Farooq Nazari.

The Wolesi Jirga’s credibility had dropped so much that even known corrupt elements were accusing lawmakers of corruption, remarked another legislator, Ali Akbar Qasimi.

“The Jirgainfo-icon has lost its credibility and authority,” he reiterated, suggested the parliament should be closed if the situation continued.

Some groups are trying to create refits among MPs in a bid to distract then from tracking important issues, according to female MP Fatima Aziz.

The creation of a monitoring commission was needed to look into the accusations against the Wolesi Jirga members, suggested lawmaker Obaidullah Ramin.


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